Me: Ugh why is Balance & Composure so fucking perfect?
Henry: I don’t know….?
Me: UGH WHY DO YOU HATE THEM?!
Ok so maybe Henry doesn’t hate them per se, but he definitely isn’t a fan either and had zero guilt whatsoever about dropping me off in the Land of Post-Penguins Game Drunks on Sunday for their show at the Rex. It would be the third time seeing them in less than a year and you better believe I don’t take that shit for granted.
The height of my B&C obsession was last fall. We got SUPER hot&heavy, you guys, and I’m ok with sharing that because we’re all friends here. Their most recent album stayed on my record player for months and Henry and Chooch were all wide-eyed and tense. So while I might be all up on the Hallyu jock currently, I will always drop the Hangul long enough to let in some All American sad boy rock.
I arrived shortly after doors and had friendly banter with the bouncer, who asked if he could add to my collection of wristbands, or if I wanted to take my old one off (I usually keenmy wristbands on until they wear off on their own: my name is Erin and I’m disgusting). I shrugged and opted to take it off, so he rummaged in his pocket for what—A KNIFE? SCISSORS? A HACKSAW?—but I had already yanked the wristband off on my own. He acted like he was so impressed and made a “u so strong, girl” motion with his arms.
I love that guy. Last time I was there, we struggled to work the ATM together. Not all bouncers are dicks, I guess!
Then I nearly got duped into changing electric companies (again!) by some girl who was standing at the door and I thought she wanted to take my ticket but NO she was just trying to start another fight between me and Henry. I literally just got persuaded by a cute college boy last fall to switch to some environmentally-sound clean energy thing and it sounded great but it was going to raise our bill by like three dollars and Henry had a fit because he googled the company and found review after review of horror stories from customers who got taken and everyday he was like DID YOU CALL AND CANCEL YET? YOU BETTER FUCKING CALL AND CANCEL.
God lay off, pops!
Anyway, when I tried to hand her my ticket, she was all, “Oh no, I don’t need that. But say, maybe you could help me? Do you like the environment?” And I said yes because sure. But as she said that, I noticed the paper she was holding said CLEAN ENERGY so when she asked if I oh the electric bill in my household, I said “No my dad does” BECAUSE IM ON TO YOU NOW, YOU LITTLE TREE HUGGER.
J/K I like trees.
“Oh! Well, when you get your own electric bill, look us up!” she said, and I was like, “Byeeeee suckaaaaa!”
(My tangents are the signs of someone desperate for compassionship. Henry doesn’t count. He’s exceptionally skilled at tuning me out. probably that’s how he cansleep through concerts too.)
So now I was officially inside the Rex. It wasn’t very crowded yet so I slunk on over to the side of the stage because you know me, that good ol’ side bitch.
Normally at shows, I can immediately spot the other loners in the crowd, but this show was populated by groups of friends and COUPLES WHO LIKE THE SAME MUSIC. Like, 75% of the crowd was on a date.
And then there’s me.
Leaning against a wall.
Next to a garbage can.
Sometimes I feel like going to shows by myself is getting to be “not so bad” but this was not one of those nights. In fact, I was so self-conscious that I distracted myself by blogging about the last show I went to. I literally blogged at a show about another show.
My life is so rich.
Thankfully, the first band—Queen of Jeans, from Philly— started right at 8 so I had something to do other than fidget with my phone, looking all loner-y and suspicious.
I had never heard of Queen of Jeans before and wasn’t expecting much. When I saw that three of them were girls, and two of them were dressed in various shades of 1970s afghan brown, I totally judged that book by its cover and wrote them off to be some riot grrl band. You know me! Picky with girl bands.
Anyway, you’ll be smug to know that I was wrong in my assumptions, and I ended up really, and I mean truly really very madly, loving them. Like a lot. The singer (Miriam – I’ve been reading some things, I do that sometimes, try to get some cold hard facts before I start laying down my super opinionated words) had the most unexpected voice, kind of reminiscent of Stacy King (Sucre, ex-Eisley), but with so much more power. I mean, this girl could BELT IT OUT. And the other two fucking slayed that stage right along with her, while the drummer, the lone dude, knew his place in the back. (J/K – he was incredible too.)
I can’t remember the last time I was at a show where the opening band was unknown to everyone there, yet still managed to get the whole crowd so hyped. We were LOVING it, totally eating out of their hands. They could have told us to scream, “FLYERS RULE” and….well, no, we probably wouldn’t have done it. THAT’S JUST GOING TOO FAR.
They ended with a cover.
“It’s 90s R&b,” Miriam gave us as a hint. “She’s dead.”
Right away, I was thinking Aaliyah because I’m old and used to be a yo-girl, that shit was my wheelhouse. But I didn’t want to yell it out loud by myself, so I said nothing.
AND GUESS WHAT I WAS RIGHT, UGH.
Here’s the tail end of it, where they were fucking shredding and we all lost our minds:
And here’s a full one, please enjoy. Have a drink and relax:
The second band was From Indian Lakes. I have been wanting to see them again ever since the first Riot Fest I went to in 2014, when I was walking past the small stage they were playing on and did the whole HOLD UP WAIT A MINUTE stop-in-my-tracks-while-Henry-keeps-walking thing.
I think I was body-snatched during their set because I barely remember it aside from the initial text I sent Henry that said, “OMFG I forgot how good they are!” I absolutely cannot remember anything now. Should I be concerned?!
I do remember that they had a bright white neon marquee that said F I L and I had a fleeting thought of, “LOL, father in law” and then I was clearly hypnotized. It’s the only explanation.
Aside from aliens.
Anyway, the whole point of this post is that I went to see Balance & Composure and was caught up in the rapture just like Anita Baker and shooooooo lawd, if I could see these guys once a month maybe you could start calling me religious. As soon as Jon Simmons starts doing his dreamy Midnight Zone dance, I SUDDENLY FIND GOD.
I’m just over here fanning my face, please hold.
They played all of my faves: Midnight Zone, Postcard, Tiny Raindrop, Quake, Reflection, Tore You Apart….OK every song they played is my favorite because there’s not a single song I dislike in their whole entire discography. They are perfect, in my opinion. And just what I needed to cap off an already wonderful weekend. Sometimes, the social anxiety is worth it when the reward is a night of beautiful music that sticks with you.
Be my prom date, B&C.
It was after 11pm by the time I got home and Chooch kept asking me if I was hungry, which I thought was strange because since when does he care about how or what I’m feeling?
“No, it’s after 11 and I’m ready for bed, not food,” I said. But he just kept it up, until finally I was like, “OMG, if YOU’RE hungry, eat something then go to bed!”
“Are you sure you don’t want an ENGLISH MUFFIN?” he asked, not so subtly stressing the “english muffin” part. He did everything but the wink-wink, nudge-nudge.
Finally, I figured out that he was trying to lure me over to the toaster so that I could see they bought a new one while I was at the show. No more burnt bagels!
“We don’t even have English muffins, so it’s a good thing you didn’t say yes,” Henry mumbled.
“Do you want to listen to a RECORD?!” Chooch asked from the back porch, practically sprawled across the table the record player sits on. And I noticed there was a new speaker sitting there. Wow, what a huge night for Henry and Chooch. Send a postcard about it. Five lines.